Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Most Dangerous Job in Business?

Yep... you guessed it. It's the Chief Marketing Officer, and chances are yours is just leaving.

So says June's edition of Fast Company magazine. As the portfolio of recent CMO casualties stacks up (Mary Minnick at Coca-Cola; Kerri Martin at Volkswagen; Michael Linton at Best Buy; John Fleming at Wal-Mart), is this position becoming a dinosaur? And, in all this hub-bub, usually the new CMO gets rid of everything the guy before championed. A lot of things get discarded and a lot of time and money gets wasted.

Maybe most executives in the C-suite utilize the CMO as the "fall guy." When numbers turn down and Wall Street casts a critical eye, the first instinct of the CEO certainly isn't to fire themselves. Getting rid of the CFO would spook stockholders and changing a COO or CIO could disrupt operations. So, the CEO thinks, "Who's that other guy who's left? Oh, yeah... the glorified 'brand advocate.' Get him in here. Somehow this has got to be his fault."

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

It's Funny 'Cause It's True...

I had to repost this from Seth Godin because no matter your industry, if you are a consultant, you deal with this all the time.

On that same note, the following is a note is from a friend who is going through quite an ordeal with one of his customers, also. He isn't a consultant, but a senior manager at Coca-Cola.

I opened my Dove dark chocolate bite today, and the quote said to "sing alongwith elevator music". I tried that at lunch, but all I got were strange looks. Why is that? Public expressions of happiness are so misunderstood,don't you think?

Of course, my second chocolate piece said to "squeeze the neck of those customers you absolutely, without a doubt, can't stand to deal with....the ones where the mere mention of their name give you feelings of unspoken anger......the ones who haunt your sleep at night and who lower your mood during the day....yeah, those people, squeeze tight."

That's a lot to put on a chocolate wrapper, but they wrote it very small. You gotta love those Dove people. They always seem to capture the mood just so.

Let's all raise our glasses to not being able to get away from the ignorant! Cheers and Happy Wednesday!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Marketing Message from The Mob

B.L. Ochman's blog about online marketing and web strategy is a daily must-read for me. I just had to re-post his entry for today... his words / my sentiments.

"The last scene of The Sopranos finale is already on You Tube. Watch it again. Guaranteed, you'll see things you didn't notice last night. National Rorschach Test? Colossal Mind Fuck?

Neither! The Sopranos finale was the most brilliant use of user generated content we've seen to date. It doesn't matter what really happened. What matters is what you think happened. And that could be almost anything from the whole family dying to life going on as always, minus a bunch of wiseguys. Or not.

Everyone is buzzing about it today. And I'm sure I'm not the only one who's going to watch it again tonight.

Fans actually crashed the HBO site after the show, demonstrating how much media is converging. "Fans absorb the content of a show like the Sopranos on one medium and then immediately utilize the web as their voice to express points of view," said Adotas.

As scores of bloggers and mainstream media have pointed out today, symbolism was everywhere:
- the almost too brief to catch flash of Janice walking into the diner, as she had done in an earlier episode just in time to see her father get shot;
- the guy in the Members Only jacket when Members Only is the title of Episode 66, which is the one where Uncle Jr. shot Tony in the stomach;
- that mysterious cat bugging Paulie Walnuts after it caught a rat at the safe house;
- Tony complaining about his mother to AJ's shrink the way he complained to his own shrink in the beginning of the show.
- add your own view, email your friends, read their view. Rinse, repeat.

One of the most interesting theories online is by a user on, who suggests that Tony is indeed shot at the end of the episode. He recalls a conversation Tony had with his brother-in-law Bobby Baccalieri earlier this season. “I bet you don’t hear it [getting shot] when it happens,” Bobby told Tony while they were fishing on a lake in upstate New York.

We are viewing the scene at the diner through Tony's eyes. Suddenly, as Meadow walks in, the screen goes blank, there's no sound, and the titles roll.

Was Tony shot? The only other time no music played over the closing credits was in the season-two episode "Full Leather Jacket," which ended with Christopher (Michael Imperioli) getting gunned down. And he recovered.

And that's the beauty of it. We cursed the cable company for blacking out the last seconds, called our friends to see if they saw the crucial last scene, until we realized we'd been had. Depending on your disposition, that's when you either laughed or cursed. I did both. :<)

David Chase, meanwhile, is said to be hiding out in France, letting is figure it out for ourselves. Pretty damn cool."

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Is a "Sales at All Costs" Philosophy Hurting your Business?

A new book by Michael Burdette, "Contemplate Your Business Navel," asks this insightful question. Business leaders know that increased sales are essential to fuel company growth and boost the bottom line. Right? Well... not necessarily. Many companies are spinning their wheels and exerting a disproportionate amount of energy making more sales when they could have grossed a higher profit with fewer sales.

Grow sales blindly, you'll suffer the consequences. Too many sales have put many a small business out of business. Developing achievable budgets and forecasts, combined with a realistic and healthy sales and marketing strategy, creates a healthy and thriving company in a cut-throat market whether local, national, or global.